LAST WEEK’S RECAP | June 24 – 30, 2013

I love hearing stories about how people play their hearts out. At the Packanack Lake Tournament 2 Saturdays ago, 2 players from Caldwell and Wayne (18 and 20 years old) played 6 matches straight and the other 8 matches with other people without breaks. The first thing they said to me when I arrived at the Friday party was – “We played this Wednesday and we couldn’t even swing our arms. We played like 1.0 [level]” Nonsense! They’re young and made of steel and they deserve to play until they drop. During the tournament, the 18-year-old joked – “I have a watermelon problem” because he couldn’t stop eating. But that’s probably what kept him hydrated and going all day. He has been playing so much tennis with us so far this summer. By the end of the summer he will be so good and I hope he will make the tennis team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he will begin his freshman year this fall. He has just graduated from the Golda Och Academy (formerly known as Soloman Schechter) in West Orange, NJ. It’s such a special school, where he attended since kindergarten. It gave him unusual opportunities to spend time abroad amongst other things. Last year the school brought the graduating class of 43 students, to spend a couple of weeks in Israel. This year they had the prom and finals in February before going off to Poland for a week and then Israel for 3 months (March-May). These experiences have made him more well rounded. This is the 3rd year I see him. I’m privileged to watch him blossom into an outgoing, bright young man. His 20-year-old buddy also has a great future, his story another time….

It was a nice party. After tennis, players got to catch up on events. I was happy to be part of it since I rarely get a chance to sit down and talk more than 2 minutes to anyone. Players from NYC and Cliffside Park talked about the good old days back in NYC. I’m glad they re-convened at our parties. Two other players from NYC and West NY also recognized each other from a few years back playing in NYC. I asked what they like about the group here. They said the tennis is good, the level is good and I do a good job. Whatever it is they like, I hope I continue to provide those elements and keep them engrossed.

We have been lucky so far with good weather for the Sunday parties. This Sunday when a new friend from Hoboken and the captain from North Bergen from my daytime tennis league arrived, it rained, though for a brief moment. We kidded that the Hoboken player brought the rain but the sun came out shortly after and everyone was able to play without further interruptions. She commented that Dwight and I put out a nice spread. They both said they enjoy the whole experience at the Sunday party. It’s just nice to hear what people think and all the nice things they have to say.

A player from Weehawken will be returning to Japan on July 17th. This past Friday we had a small party for him to say goodbye to his Friday friends. We will have another one this Sunday the 7th. Anyone wishing to say goodbye to this player, please come this Sunday as it will be his last Tennis Buffs party. He’s the player who learned to play tennis at 13 but lost one leg at 19 while he rode his motorcyle to pick up medication for his aging dog. It took him only 2 years of set back after the accident to regain an active life, when he met his wife and have had 2 children since. He always has a smile. Why not, with wonderful family, friends and career, he loves life and loves to share his joy with everyone. I should also mention that he’s an accomplished skier and tennis player!

Towards the end of the party, players from Tenafly urged me to have a Fourth of July party on the Fourth. So I decided to! She and a player from Jersey City gave me ideas of whom I should invite. They certainly share the same likes. It’ll be good to see friends from different party nights and even friends who come out just for the holiday parties!

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